As talks to settle the year-long crisis in Burundi is due later this month in Arusha, Tanzania, the Burundian government Friday reiterated its refusal to negotiate with what it calls “non-peaceful” actors.
Speaking in a live public program on local radio stations, Burundian Government Spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba said: “We cannot sit with the radical opposition in the context of the National Council for the Restoration of the Arusha Agreement and the Rule of Law in Burundi (CNARED) or armed groups.”
“The inter-Burundian dialogue will only bring together peaceful stakeholders. We hope that the facilitator will not act in contradiction with Resolution 2248 of the UN Security Council that clearly stipulates that non-peaceful actors cannot participate in the dialogue,” said Nzobonariba.
Stakeholders in the inter-Burundian dialogue participated in inter-Burundian consultations on May 21-24 in Arusha to try to end the year-long political crisis, but some members of the radical opposition boycotted the session.
The inter-Burundian dialogue at the external level had failed to resume in January when the Burundian government boycotted talks in Arusha, arguing that it could not sit “on the same table” with what it called “non-peaceful” stakeholders.
Burundi is facing a year-long political crisis that broke out since April 2015 following the announcement by President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would be seeking a third term.
His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted into a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup on May 13, 2015.
Over 451 persons are reported to have been killed since then, while some 270,000 citizens sought exile in neighboring countries.